I'm reading a very fascinating book right now by John McArthur: Twelve Extraordinary Women It's all about how God shaped women in the Bible, exhibiting their moral & spiritual qualities, and addressing what He wants to do with me.
It's so relevant to several different aspects of my life. First, spiritually, it's really making me question & re-evaluate who I am & what I want my life to be about. With that, it's also correctly addressing the spiritual basis of "feminism" & yet again exposing the modern-day "feminist" lies. Sidenote: I hold scripture as the sole & final authority of my life.
I've been "attacked" before on Facebook for making statements about feminism. My "opposition" would say I've been indoctrinated by my grandmother & Phyllis Schlafly. This book is reaffirming for me that what Phyllis says about women is completely and legitimately true as reflected in the lives of these "Twelve Extraordinary Women."
This whole message (from the left, no less) of feminist egalitarianism is that there is really NOTHING extraordinary about women. Girls, we should be appalled. There's nothing wrong with embracing the fact that our good and gracious God made us different. Scripture NEVER discounts our intellect nor does it downplay the fact that we have extraordinary talents & abilities. The Lord also created us a beautiful picture (through women) of what it is to be a virtuous woman.
So, counter to this feminist egalitarianism, one of my favorite quotes from the book thus far is this: The message these women collectively give is not about "gender equality"; it's about true feminine excellence. And this is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance.
I don't know about you, but that's what I want to be known for--moral and spiritual excellence. ...the incorruptible beauty of a gentle & quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 ((yeah, I'm working on the whole quiet spirit part. ;) ))
I've only read MacArthur's accounts of Eve & Abraham's Sarah so far. And, as always, I have a couple of things to share.
Eve is a beautiful illustration of the goodness of God's grace & his perfect wisdom concerning His will. There are some truths about womanhood that He reveals through her:
1. She is fundamentally equal with Adam. She was "his spiritual counterpart, his intellectual coequal, and in every sense his perfect mate and companion."" I really would like to quote about two pages of the book, but I'll let you read it yourself. The point is--she was a priceless treasure to be cherished, a partner to love on & encourage Adam, & in return, he adored & embraced her.
2. God created marriage to be between one man & one woman for one lifetime. The end.
3. Marriage is not merely a physical union but one of heart & soul. Eve was Adam's complement. "The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."--Matthew Henry. Yep... I sure pray God's created a man for me. This whole marriage talk makes me pretty excited about the rest of my life. :)
And, 4. Eve's creation teaches of the divinely-designed role of women. She was made to fill a void in Adam's existence, to be his helper, and to be a mother, comforter, and nurturer.
Now, the whole fall of mankind, that's a different story. I'm just focusing on the positive aspects of the Lord's creation right now. :)
Tonight, I finished reading about Sarah. There's a quote I want to leave you with:
Harsh as it may be, there was a very crucial, necessary, and positive spiritual principle in the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael. This symbolized the important truth that the kind of religion that is dependent on human effort (symbolized by the carnal scheme that conceived Ishmael as an artificial fulfillment of God's promise)is utterly incompatible with divine grace (symbolized by Isaac, the true heir of God's promise.) And the two are so hostile to one another that they cannot even abide in close proximity.
Effort versus grace. Are we truly allowing the Lord's precious & merciful grace to consume our lives? Or, are we trying to do it on our own?
...because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11